Wednesday, August 15, 2012

PYHO: Childbirth Soapbox

                                                                                       Source: lesleyraes.blogspot.com via Lily on Pinterest




14 days and counting... I am not going to lie, I am miserably uncomfortable and soooooo ready to meet this little guy. I am also having a little bit of anxiety about having another c-section.

I have had c-sections for all my pregnancies, which will make this my fourth, and I have always felt like I was kind of missing out on a normal delivery experience. I mean, birth is supposed to be one of the most natural things a woman can do right? Scheduling a surgery to meet my baby just feels... blah.

1st Pregnancy: I was 20 years old, married for less than a year, and suddenly pregnant with twins. We didn't know anyone with twins and were completely ignorant of all things "baby." We went to a highly recommended OB/GYN office and they said I would have a c-section, and I assumed that is the norm with twins. No other information was presented to me by the doctors, and I never really questioned their expertise. Bed-rest around 30 weeks- hospital at 35 weeks for high blood pressure and after a few days, starting towards pre-eclampsia so they went ahead and performed a c-section. The recovery was hideous and I don't even remember the first time I held them.

2nd pregnancy: I mentioned trying to have a vaginal birth (VBAC) and it was pretty much just shrugged off as, no that's too risky... you don't need to do that. And I was just too naive to question it.  

3rd pregnancy: Going through everything with Evie, birth options were the last thing on my mind, and I had another c-section. No other options were discussed.

This pregnancy: When I went to my 20 week appointment this time, my doctor asked if I was planning on getting my tubes tied. She said she would recommend it because it is not good to have multiple c-sections, complications rise, etc...

I said no, I wasn't ready to make such a "final" decision.

Later, I started getting frustrated and I thought in all my pregnancies, did anyone ever ask me how many kids I was planning on having?

And after 3 c-sections (2 which were not even close to being medically necessary), NOW they want to start telling me about the risks?... like I was the one who opted for c-sections??

Where was this discussion during my first pregnancy? ALL I heard was, "We will just plan on a cesarean because it's just safer."

Then I read articles like this online when I look for information about having multiple c-sections:

"We are not in the business of telling women how many kids to have,” University of Utah obstetrics professor Robert M. Silver, MD, tells WebMD. “But women who want to have more than one or two children need to think carefully about having cesarean births unless they are medically necessary.Source


 *Simple question: How can someone think carefully about something that was never talked about?
 

Doctors recommend c-sections without a blink, but now all of a sudden c-sections are only good if you want one or two kids. They magically leave out that little tidbit until after you have had cesareans. 

So they don't want to do too many c-sections because of the risks to you and baby, yet you have to fight tooth and nail to find support and accommodations if you want to try for VBAC? What is wrong with this picture??

And almost all the articles I have read concerning this topic are blaming the mothers! Saying WE should really think twice before electing for a cesarean for convenience or because we don't want to go through labor...

Seriously??

I know a lot of women who have had c-sections and never by choice. It was either medically necessary, or it was because they simply weren't given any other option. 

It is frustrating because when you are having a baby, especially your first, and you are in the hospital and doctors are saying you should go ahead and have a cesarean because of x,y,z, you believe them. You don't want to put your baby at risk so you listen to whatever they tell you, and sadly, so many times it is not necessary! 

"In any discussion about VBAC, women must also be provided with unbiased, evidence-based information about the known risks of elective cesarean section. Cesarean section, which can be a life-saving operation when necessary, carries immediate significant risks for both mother and baby and increases the risk of complications in subsequent pregnancies. Risks to the mother include excessive blood loss and transfusions, scarring, adhesions, injury to internal organs, infection, anesthesia complications, blood clots, decreased bowel function, and postpartum depression. Elective cesarean section increases a woman's risk of hysterectomy in both the current and future pregnancies, and doubles her risk of death compared to vaginal birth." Source


There is that word again... elective? How about "c-sections recommended by your doctor because he didn't feel like going through the whole messy birth process" because that is what seems to happen more often than not.
 

And they don't bring up the risks of multiple c-sections until I am on my 4th and there is nothing I can do about it...


And I absolutely take responsibility for my part in this.  I know I should have done more research and stood up for what I wanted even if it was hard, not just taken what the doctors said as final.  


Goose calls me a hippie, but if I could go back in time... I would at least try for an all-natural birth with a mid-wife :) I would love to actually be able to hold my baby when he comes out, not just look at him for 3 minutes and then wait another 30 before ever touching him.

That's really why I am writing this... so maybe someone who is in the position I was 7 years ago will read it and realize, you have options.

Don't let doctors pressure you into procedures unless there is a real medical reason and know which reasons are actually necessary and not just scare tactics.  Because even if your doctor is a wonderful person and a great physician sometimes they recommend what is best for them and their practice, and it might not be the best fit for you. 

Realize that while it is awesome that we have medical options available and they can absolutely be life-saving, there are certain drugs/procedures that complicate the process and make you more likely to have a cesarean.

Do your research, ask more questions, get second opinions- be tough! 


We can't control everything, and the most important thing is the end result, but there is no harm in being educated and going for the birth experience that you want.


*Exit crazy hormonal pregnant woman :) 


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 So how was your experience? c-section, all-natural, good, bad?



Linking up with Shell today: